Jakarta. Political parties are still deciding which candidates to support in the 2018 West Java gubernatorial election.
"A lot can happen before candidate registration in January. All names and options are still available for all parties," Ahmad Hanafi Rais, lawmaker and PAN central board deputy head, said after a discussion in Jakarta on Friday (29/12).
Earlier this week, PAN agreed to join forces with the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) for the 2018 gubernatorial elections in five provinces, including West Java.
However, so far Gerindra and PKS, which claim 23 seats in the West Java Legislative Council, have officially endorsed Maj. Gen. (ret.) Sudrajat and Deputy Bekasi Mayor Ahmad Syaikhu for West Java's governor an deputy governor, while PAN, which has only four seats, still wants to support the province's current Deputy Governor Deddy Mizwar.
"PAN unconditionally endorses Deddy as the governor candidate for West Java, because of his commitment to developing the province. On the other hand, we must cooperate with other parties," PAN chairman Zulkifl Hasan said on Friday, as quoted by Beritasatu.com.
Golkar, Indonesia's second largest political party, is looking for a running mate for its recently announced candidate, Banyuwangi district head Dedi Mulyadi, after it recently withdrew support for Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil.
"There are still many options, it can be Dedi's own choice — Deddy Mizwar — or PDIP's [the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle] candidate, or our previous [governor candidate] Ridwan Kamil," said Happy Bone Zulkarnaen, head of Golkar's central board.
The West Java boards of Golkar and the Democratic Party on Tuesday agreed to endorse Dedi and Deddy, but their central boards still have not approved the choice.
Meanwhile, Ridwan has recently been endorsed by the People's Conscience Party (Hanura), which adds to the political support he has from the United Development Party (PPP), the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the National Democratic Party (NasDem).
Ridwan is in talks with the parties with regard to his running mate.
Until now, the country's largest party PDI-P, has not selected its candidate.
Whoever wins the 2018 West Java election will have a significant influence on the following year's presidential vote, as the province is home to about 18 percent of registered voters, the largest chunk among the country's 34 provinces.